Amish Tripathi: I quit my job after writing the second book

Updated: Aug 31, 2016, 22:31 IST | Joanna Lobo |

The bestselling author, Amish Tripathi speaks about his journey from selling 200 books to 3.5 million

It was in August 2011 that author Amish Tripathi released his second book, The Secret Of The Nagas. Today, five years later, it has sold close to 1 million copies.

Amish Tripathi
Amish Tripathi

Tripathy, 42, as the author of the bestselling The Shiva Trilogy would go on to sell over 3.5 million copies worldwide, become the fastest selling book series in history and get translated into 19 languages. It is a significant feat given that he didn't think the books would be published at all. "The first book was rejected by every publisher, so I self-published it. Back then, it was called Shiva: The Man, The Legend, and I printed just 200 copies," he recalls.

The Shiva Trilogy series was based on the premise of what if we believed Shiva was a real man. "My books are an accurate retelling of what ancient India is like. If you read our ancient scriptures, the caste system based on birth didn't exist. It was a very meritocratic time," he adds. The Nagas focused on karma and the concept of evil. "It says that your focus in life is defined by your karma and not by what society thinks of you. You aren't judged by anyone, not even god. You decide your life's path," he says.

Banker becomes writer
It was the advance sales of his second book, the Nagas that decided Amish's writing future. He realised that he could finally quit his job as a banker. "I resigned after the royalty cheque from the advance copies of the book finally featured an amount that was more than my current salary. That's when I knew I could make a living out of writing," he reveals.

Even today, his books find new readers. "I'm lucky to have not received negative feedback from readers. They like that I have given history a different interpretation but have been respectful in my retelling. Some people though, don't like my language. They feel it inappropriate that I use modern English to talk about mythology and history," he adds.

A common question he gets asked is whether the books will be adapted to the big screen; the Nagas book had a film-like book trailer. "There are talks going on about this but I cannot reveal more. I would love to see the books come alive on screen but will be quite a challenge because they are very long," says the author, who believes that Prithviraj Kapoor would've been ideal to play Lord Shiva. "A lot of readers have said they would like Hrithik Roshan to play him." Amish is currently working on the second book of the Rama series that is expected to be out next year.

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